The idea of love being fundamental to humanity is the driving philosophy behind noted theatre director, screenwriter and filmmaker Feroz Abbas Khan’s latest musical Raunaq & Jassi. A celebration of love, the musical is inspired by William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet.
Speaking about his most recent project Feroz Abbas Khan shares that he was sold at the very first draft of the story and believed that this was a project that needed to be made for the grand stage. “It almost became an obsession for me and my writer that we needed to get this on stage, so this is an obsessive piece of work that I am doing. It is an extremely compelling story, the way the new script has come, it should be a new addition to the theatre”, he added.
Produced by BookMyShow, India’s leading entertainment destination, Raunaq & Jassi will premiere in Mumbai on November 28 at Mukesh Patel Auditorium.
Set in the backdrop of rural India, Raunaq and Jassi’s love story begins at the back of the long-standing feud between the Jagirdars and Chaudhary’s, each sworn to kill the other. What follows is a riveting and compelling journey of separation and hatred, accelerated by love. Unwilling to divulge more about the plot, Khan however emphasized, “I can tell you that the play resonates very much with the times we live in. It’s a powerful love story and restores the faith in love. It’s an absolutely Indian play…it connects with everything around us very strongly. It is a celebration of love.”
Outlining the theme of the musical, he said, “Love is fundamental to humanity, so no matter how much you try hatred, it will be exhausted and defeated. That’s why we have to put our faith in love — that’s what drives this play. This love story is a 16th-century classic, and it still moves people. There’s something very fundamentally human about two innocent people in love. The only thing they are asking is: What have we done wrong that we can’t be together? Why should hatred be the boundary that separates love?”
Directing the magnum-opus musical Mughal-e-Azam was a feat for the 60-year old filmmaker & director, particularly because he had the legendary status of the 1960 film to match up to, but adapting Romeo and Juliet was an even bigger challenge believes Khan, especially since several versions of the classic tragedy already exist across different media including cinema, theatre and ballet.
Raunaq & Jassi has been written by Iqbal Raj and reunites the award-winning team of Mughal-e-Azam with gorgeous costumes by Manish Malhotra, stunning Choreography by Mayuri Upadhya, haunting music by Piyush Kanojia, mesmerizing lighting design by award-winning David Lander from Broadway and spectacular projection design by John Narun. The musical love story that transcends all barriers and boundaries boasts of a brilliant set design by Fali Unwalla and enviable cast is headlined by Neha Sargam, Omkar Patil, Sonal Jha and others.
With 11 songs including 2 original compositions, the Hindi musical with live singing expects to deliver a robust and powerful musical experience. Following its premiere in Mumbai, Raunaq & Jassi will set foot in New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.